Boundary conditions representation can determine simulated aerosol effects on convective cloud fields

Guy Dagan*, Philip Stier, George Spill, Ross Herbert, Max Heikenfeld, Susan C. van den Heever, Peter J. Marinescu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Anthropogenic aerosols effect on clouds remains a persistent source of uncertainty in future climate predictions. The evolution of the environmental conditions controlling cloud properties is affected by the clouds themselves. Hence, aerosol-driven modifications of cloud properties can affect the evolution of the environmental thermodynamic conditions, which in turn could feed back to the cloud development. Here, by comparing many different cloud resolving simulations conducted with different models and under different environmental condition, we show that this feedback loop is strongly affected by the representation of the boundary conditions in the model. Specifically, we show that the representation of boundary conditions strongly impacts the magnitude of the simulated response of the environment to aerosol perturbations, both in shallow and deep convective clouds. Our results raise doubts about the significance of previous conclusions of aerosol-cloud feedbacks made based on simulations with idealised boundary conditions.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number71
JournalCommunications Earth and Environment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

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© 2022, The Author(s).


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